Monday, February 4, 2008

The Hills are ALIVE!!!

Just for the chance to remind myself how amazing it is to live in Europe, I spent this past weekend in Salzburg. It's one of the beauties of being able to hop on a train for a three day weekend. I can easily forget what an amazing opportunity I'm in the middle of, when the days grow long and monotonous. So to mix things up my friend Nicole, who teaches at a high school here in Cheb, and I decided to make the most of proximity, and took the 5 hour (stretched to 6 due to a long stop-over in Marktredwitz) to explore the amazing city of Salzburg, Austria.
We headed out early on Friday morning, and were blessed with amazing weather, and a great hostel location when we arrived in town in the mid-afternoon. After checking into our hostel, a fortunate recommendation from Crystal, we were in awe of the view.

The fortress sits high up on a hill overlooking the whole city and can be seen from pretty much everywhere in town. On Saturday we went on a couple of guided tours, and were able to see the castle from pretty much every angle. Just below the castle is a church and monastery. This church was where part of "The Sound of Music" was filmed. We walked up there right away and had way too much fun taking pictures from every possible viewpoint.

We wandered around until it got dark. Then, upon arriving back at the hostel we learned that every night at 8 they show "The Sound of Music." Having only seen the movie once (a horror that nearly made Rebekah deny she had ever known me) I decided it was only fitting to take advantage of the opportunity. Nicole had actually never seen the movie, making her an even less appropriate candidate for the tour we were planning on going on the next morning. Having spent the afternoon wandering around the city we were able to pick out quite a few of the places we had been in the movie.
We spent a short and noisy night in our bunk beds. Fortunately there was only one other girl in our room for the night. We got up bright and early and were disappointed to see that the sounds of rain that had haunted our dreams were, in fact, a reality. Nevertheless, we were determined to take in as much as we possibly could. We headed down for breakfast and booked two tours for the day.
Our first tour was called: the most unique "Sound of Music" tour. It was, indeed a fascinating tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and shared information both about the city, as well as about the movie and the actual events. There were quite a few discrepancies betwixt these two. Most interesting was the fact that Christopher Plummer, who played the father in the movie, didn't actually like working with children...hmmm...must not have been the most fun experience for him.
This tour took us all around the city of Salzburg, and then up into the mountains around the city. Unfortunately the Alps were not wanting to be viewed on this occasion, and we mostly saw fog and drifting snow. Still, it was quite interesting and beautiful. So here are some views of the tour:

Here are the Mirabell Gardens were our tour began. Most of the pathways were not open, but we wandered around to the best of our abilities and enjoyed the limited winter views. We were definitely here in the off season. It was still quite beautiful, and we spotted numerous places from the movie.
So it looks a little bit like I'm in "Singing in the Rain" instead of "The Sound of Music," but the fountain was seen in the movie.

These stairs were danced upon by Julie Andrews. Just had to write a sentence in the passive tense since I've been teaching it so much recently. :)

This Palace was used in the movie as the back side of their house. They actually used two different palaces for the house the Trapp's lived in. This is the lake that was seen in the back yard. This palace is now owned by the US and isn't open for the public, but is used as part of a university.

The very famous gazebo, with me and Nicole in front. We were on a tour with two couples and felt a bit out of place being without a couple (sigh)
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This is a palace that is just used in stock photography in the movie, but I thought it was so beautiful.

Here is the actual home of the Trapp family. It is now owned by the Catholic church, so we weren't able to go inside, only to the gate.
Now the internet is deciding to go slow, so I think this will have to be it for today. Enjoy. :)

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

On this tour--did you happen to see a Doe (a deer, a female deer)? Looks like those Rays (drops of golden sun) weren't very prevalent either. I am so glad there's a mention of Me (a name I call myself) in your blog. Did you have to go very Fa(r) (or, you know, run a long, long way) to get to the tour? And if So, did you at least stop and sing a little La, la tune whilst drinking Tea (and eating jam and bread) when you got a chance to catch your breath? (Okay, okay, I know those last few were stretching it a bit...what do you do with a problem like a punny friend?) =)